It started on Thursday with the ice machine, my favorite household appliance. One minute there were lovely half-moon cubes tumbling on demand from the door of the refrigerator, and the next, no cubes, no matter how insistently I pushed the little paddle in with my glass. For awhile the refrigerator still made that grinding sound that meant here come the cubes!, but soon even that pretense was abandoned, and everything was silent.
Little did I know that lukewarm, European-style beverages were to be the least of my troubles.
Friday night the flood came. I was in the shower singing show tunes and checking for moles when I heard a pounding noise coming from somewhere in the house. I stopped singing to listen, and it stopped. Hmmm. Must have imagined it. I went back to my singing. More distant pounding.
Then the pounding got really loud, and my husband burst through the door, (Which I had locked. A lady needs privacy) his eyes wild, a vein bulging in his forehead.
"Water!!" he yelled over the sound of the shower.
Thank you, Captain Obvious! I thought. Men.
"Flood!" he yelled, and pointed to the floor, which I now saw was covered in an inch of water. Where did that come from?
Then, with a little flourish, he opened the door to the narrow elevator- shaft-room that houses the toilet, and the contents of Hoover Dam poured out.
Oh. Flood. Flood! I did some naked panicking then, running in little circles in the shower while I thought what to do, and my husband disappeared from the room, presumably leaving me to drown while clutching my soap bar.
I knew I had to do something (shower time was over), and luckily I was already wet so opening the shower door and swimming through the rapids in my bathroom was easy enough. The rest of the night was not.
Downstairs, in the kitchen, a waterfall was pouring from each of the three light fixtures. One of the lights sparked and crackled festively before going dark and emitting curls of black smoke from under its shade.
The dog's dish was filling up with water and bloated kibble.
Then from the garage, like an avenger, came the husband, festooned with vacuum hoses and old towels, a look of grim determination on his face.
After that it was all night with the shop vac sucking up gallons of water from the upstairs floor/kitchen ceiling, and mopping, and then floor heaters pointed at the ceiling in an effort to prevent the drywall from buckling and swooping like a Salvador Dali painting, ( or just sloughing off onto the floor altogether) and a little bit of swearing and maybe some gentle weeping.
About three in the morning, when we went to turn the heat up to help dry the ceiling, we discovered that the furnace had joined ranks with the ice maker and the toilet, and had given up normal operations.
Not only was it wet and cold outside (Stormwatch 2010!!), it was wet and cold inside, and likely to stay that way.
We went to bed.
The next morning, after dreaming I was riding a giant lizard through the park, I awoke to the sounds of my husband in the hallway, banging on assorted furnace innards with his manly- man tools.
The husband is part MacGyver, and has already managed to get our elderly furnace running again two winters in a row, so I had reason to believe he could get it to work, at least for awhile.
And, he did! It was nice and warm for a couple of hours.
Until the fireball.
Apparently one thing MacGyver forgot was to bypass the thingamajig that regulates the timer on the whatchamacallit. This is bad, because forgetting this leads to gas being pumped out willynillly,too many seconds before the igniter ignites, resulting in a house-rattling explosion.
Cats hate fireballs.
Especially when the flames throw the door to the furnace open with shocking force and then shoot out to lick the edges of the Tower of Babel cat tree in which they are reclining.
After that it was all anticlimactic, fortunately. The cats escaped intact (one flaming animal per week is our limit)
the Tower of Babel remains, and the house has not burned to the ground. The kitchen ceiling decided to stick around. The house has a slight indoor-swimming pool smell to it, but I'm hoping that will go away.
Best of all, a two hour drive to see an amused appliance parts salesman (originally from Turks and Caicos) yielded fresh components for the ice maker and the furnace. The toilet has received a stern talking-to.
Also, the rain storm outside, after depositing 400 inches of rain into our backyard, has left for Arizona.
The week is looking up.